Prominent Democrats Call Out Gianforte’s Truancy in Congress, Celebrate Success Fighting for Quality, Affordable Health Care

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 12, 2020

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Prominent Democrats Call Out Gianforte’s Truancy in Congress, Celebrate Success Fighting for Quality, Affordable Health Care
Lt. Gov. Cooney – “Greg Gianforte couldn’t even bother to show up for his work in Congress during a pandemic. How can Montanans trust him to show up as governor?”
Helena, MT – This morning, Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney, Rep. Casey Schreiner, Rep. Shane Morigeau, and Dr. Cora Neumann called out Greg Gianforte’s shocking attendance record in Congress, worse than 93% of his colleagues, and celebrated Democrats’ success passing and protecting quality, affordable health care in Montana. Recognizing the threat that Greg Gianforte’s candidacy poses to the health care of thousands of Montana families, participants hailed Lt. Gov. Cooney’s and Rep. Schreiner’s long records of showing up and putting in the work necessary to protect Montanans’ access to health care.

Key excerpts of the call below:

Lt. Gov. Cooney – “Montana’s response to COVID-19 has shown us just how crucial it is to have strong leadership in the Governor’s office during this time of crisis. I’ve been there every step of the way… Greg Gianforte couldn’t even bother to show up for work in Congress in a pandemic. How can Montanans trust him to show up as governor?”

“I’ve been showing up for Montanans on health care my entire career… When Medicaid expansion was on the line, I visited darn near every rural hospital in this state… When I was executive director of Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies, [we] help[ed] Montanans learn about the CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) program… That’s what it means to show up for Montana families. You have to put in the work.”

“During this unprecedented and challenging time, it’s more important than ever to have leaders who will show up and put in the hard work necessary to look out for Montana… Montanans simply can’t trust Gianforte to do that based on his record. We’ve seen what’s happened when when Greg Gianforte is given the chance to lead, he slacks off, and he barely even shows up for the work he’s expected to do. So as governor, I’ll continue to show up working for Montanans each and every day, just like I have done throughout my entire career in public service.”

Rep. Casey Schreiner – “I’ve been lucky enough to be working for the last decade almost fighting like heck to make sure that we have a health care system in the state of Montana that covers everybody.”

“This is personal. Medicaid expansion doesn’t just protect health care for people in cities. It protects people all across the state… When our last son was born, about a week later, my wife Teresa suffered a major hemorrhage. If I was not lucky enough to live within 10 minutes of Benefis Health Care here in Great Falls, I’d be a single dad of three little boys right now… If I lived in rural Montana, and we had not passed Medicaid expansion, my critical access hospital wouldn’t be there… I tell that story not because it’s unique to me and unique to my family, because it’s all too common for women and families all across the state, especially rural Montana.”

“We know for a fact that if the wrong person sits in the Governor’s office, somebody that has not taken the time to prioritize… the health care of Montanans, somebody that has not shown up to fund our health care services at a time of a pandemic, we’re in trouble… We’re going to fight like heck to make sure this doesn’t happen, and we’re going to protect health care, especially [for] rural Montanans and rural families and rural jobs.”

Rep. Shane Morigeau – “Greg Gianforte just hasn’t done enough to protect vulnerable populations in Montana, especially when it comes to our native communities.”

“We need a governor that’s going to show up and fight for our native communities. We know that Greg Gianforte hasn’t even shown up in Congress, so I have concerns about whether or not we can count on him to actually show up on health care in Indian Country. Mike and Casey both have long track records of showing up for Montanans when it counts.”

Dr. Cora Neumann – “One of the things that I have found really disconcerting is that [Gianforte] walked out on a really important vote for CDC funding to fly home on Air Force 2 to announce his run for governor, even when… we had a pending pandemic.”

“…On February 26, as Dr. Fauci and Dr. Azar were preparing to testify against the extreme budget cuts that this administration was proposing, Greg Gianforte, only stayed for 20 minutes in that hearing… For Greg Gianforte to not show up for his job at that hearing on February 26, when the lives of Americans were on the line, the lives of Montanans, the safety of our frontline health workers was on the line, is really shocking. We need someone who is going to continue to stand up and fight for Montana families.”

“To witness his lack of attention to public health issues and public health funding, I find shocking… His really blatant disregard and almost potentially disdain for public health at a time when our families are really at acute risk [is] unconscionable.”

A full recording of the call can be found here:

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